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See the World Through Yves Klein-Blue-Colored Lenses

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Having missed their splashy coming-out party at Colette in Paris, we first encountered a pair of Yves Klein Blue sunglasses on the chiseled face of a gentleman at the Munich airport. The stunning ultramarine specs, made by indie eyewear brand Etnia Barcelona, mark the first time that the Yves Klein Archive has authorized a brand to use the exact color patented by the artist as “International Klein Blue.” You can find the aviator-style sunglasses at the New Museum shop and the full collection at Etnia Barcelona. And did we mention the good cause? Royalties from the Klein collection go to OrphanAid, a non-profit organization that develops programs and projects to help vulnerable children and families in Ghana.

MoMA Collaborates with Uniqlo on Pollock Tees, Warhol Totes, and More

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Cover yourself in Jackson Pollock‘s inky drips, schlep your stuff under the cover of Warholian camouflage, and wear the creative feats of Keith Haring on your feet—all for less than the price of admission to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The institution has teamed up with Japanese fast-fashion chain Uniqlo on a line of wearables printed with images from works in the MoMA collection, including details from two of Pollock’s 1950 works on paper that have been transposed to cotton t-shirts, a tote bag covered in a collage of Basquiat drawings, and a bandanna featuring Warhol’s tomato-red can of Campbell’s soup from 1962. The Uniqlo at MoMA collection, part of the retailer’s SPRZ NY (“Surprise New York”) project, is now available at at the MoMA Store as well as Uniqlo. Nothing is over $50.

The Treachery of Sneakers: Opening Ceremony Prints Magritte Paintings on Vans

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As part of their year-long exploration and celebration of all things Belgian, the surrealist gang at Opening Ceremony is plastering the reality-bending works of fresh-from-his-MoMA-restrospective artist René Magritte on instantly collectible goods. First up in this partnership with the Magritte Foundation: Vans. The five sneaker styles, priced at $135 each (a bargain for a Magritte!), include kicked-up canvas versions of Magritte’s Ladder of Fire (1939), The Blow to the Heart (1952), and, for lovers of his bowler-hatted men of mystery, The King’s Museum (1966). The sneakers are available for pre-order through Monday, March 17.

Stack Succeeds Where Newsstands Fail

(Joke De Wilde) FEAT

Feed your exotic periodical addiction by subscribing to Stack, which selects the best independent magazines and delivers them to your door every month. “There are piles of fantastic magazines out there just waiting to be discovered,” says founder Steven Watson, “and Stack makes it cheaper and easier than ever for people to find and enjoy them.” Among the deep selection of indie titles that may show up in Stack subscriptions are design favorites such as Eye, Elephant, IdN, and Wrap. The sooner you start with a three-month subscription ($50) or treat yourself to a full year of magazine surprises ($190), the sooner you can learn what city is the new Berlin, what the backlash to the backlash to the backlash against Helevtica means for the future of serifs, and marvel at the heartbreaking tenacity and arrogance of matadors.

Kvadrat Debuts Raf Simons Collaboration

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A taste of Kvadrat/Raf Simons, which arrives at retail in April. (Photos from left: Anne Collier, Kvadrat)

It’s easy to forget, now that he has ascended to the creative helm of Dior, that Raf Simons began his career as a promising young furniture designer. He returns to his roots with a new range of textiles, cushions, and throws created in collaboration with Kvadrat. Simons looked to his beloved mid-century masters, including Jean Royère, Pierre Jeanneret, Finn Juhl, and Hans Wegner, for textured elements, including a woven mohair reminiscent of sheepskin, speckled boucles, and a fur-like textile. Others reimagine the work of the late Swedish textile designer Fanny Aronsen.

And while Simons used many of the textiles in his fall/winter 2014 menswear collection, for which he teamed with artist Sterling Ruby, the Kvadrat collection was conceived with interiors in mind. “We are making fabrics that are like a blank canvas for designers,” said Simons in a statement issued today. “They are waiting for input from the furniture designers—we don’t control the design they will use the textiles for, so we try to leave it very open; these fabrics should be multifunctional.”

Clear Favorite: Boskke’s Self-Watering Planter

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boskke cubeNeither snow nor freezing rain nor the Super Bowl can keep thousands of retailers from NY NOW, the twice-yearly trade show that fills the Javits Center with giftables and homegoods galore. Enlisted to prowl the aisles of the “Accent on Design” section as a judge for the show’s “Bloggers’ Choice Awards,” we emerged with a clear favorite: the Boskke Cube, a new self-watering planter offered by Brooklyn-based neo-utility.

Designer Patrick Morris deconstructed the traditional plant pot and added an ingenious irrigation system to create this transparent planter, which acts as a reservoir for a month’s supply of water. “The clear plastic body reveals the water, soil, and roots of the plant, allowing you to witness firsthand the mechanics of plant growth,” says Morris of the Cube, which comes in assorted sizes. “And great for all those travelers…you only need to water it once a month.”

Scrabble Typography Returns for a Second Round

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Andrew Capener‘s fontastic version of Scrabble is back! The California designer set out to reinvent the beloved board game in a way that would excite people about typography. His concept was to replace the familiar bleached-wood, monofont letter tiles with rich walnut versions in a variety of typefaces. An additional design tweak: all of the game components would be magnetized, an innovation that anyone who has lost that lone “Z” or “K” can appreciate. A licensee of Hasbro is back on board with a second (limited) edition, which includes new fonts and Bauhaus-inspired game components.

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Dwell Delves into Retail with Online Store

eames notebookFrom print to web to…retail. That’s the path taken by Dwell Media, which has parlayed its modern design expertise into e-commerce. The recently launched Dwell Store is stocked with products from the likes of Kartell, Flos, the Bouroullec Brothers, and Grain Design. The site will also showcase designs developed exclusively for Dwell. “Our audience constantly asks us, ‘Where can I buy that?’” says Dwell president Michela O’Connor Abrams. “I am so pleased to now say ‘at dwell.com!’” Start the new year off with a few Delfonics wooden pens from Japan ($10 each) and an Eames notebook (pictured, $20).

Paddle8 Launches Sister Site for ‘Extraordinary Experiences’

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Still got it. A private, curator-led tour of the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver is among the experiences now up for grabs on Gavel&Grand.

Did Santa (or UPS) fail to deliver for you this year? Still in search of a worthy cause for an under-the-wire 2013 charitable donation? Head straight to Gavel&Grand. The recently launched site expands Paddle8‘s online platform, rounding up philanthropic auctions that are studded with extraordinary experiences. Hurry to get your bids in for the Aspen Art Museum’s Freestyle auction, which runs through tomorrow evening on the site. The big-ticket items include a stay at a private chalet and a membership at The Caribou Club, but we’re coveting the Inez and Vinoodh commissioned portrait, private tour of the breathtaking Clyfford Still Museum, and a San Francisco art junket that promises an intimate look at Ai Weiwei‘s forthcoming Alcatraz Island installation.

LUSH Teams with Vivienne Westwood for Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap

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knot wrap vivBefore you run to the store for another roll of glitter-flecked snowflake paper, check out the sustainable solution cooked up by LUSH. The Canadian handmade cosmetics juggernaut teamed with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the Knot-Wrap, a square of organic cotton that can be re-used as a scarf or drawstring bag after the presents are long gone. Profits from the knot-wraps, available online and LUSH stores while quantities last, go toward Westwood’s Climate Revolution initiative.

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